Our thriving co-educational IAPS Preparatory School caters for children aged 3 – 13 years. It was founded in 1929 and is now part of the Alpha Plus Group: the Gold Standard in educational provision. The school stands among eight acres of attractive grounds, on the northern fringe of Tonbridge, Kent.
We provide a stimulating, friendly and secure environment in which each child’s potential may be realised in the academic, creative, physical and spiritual areas. Pupils strive for high standards, both inside and outside the classroom, take pride in their achievements and enjoy participating wholeheartedly in the life of the school.
If you like what you read and see, please visit our school, you will be very welcome.
John Withers BA (Hons)
Our aim is to provide a stimulating, friendly and secure environment in which each child’s potential may be realised in the academic, creative, physical and spiritual areas. Pupils strive for high standards, both inside and outside the classroom, take pride in their achievements and enjoy participating wholeheartedly in the life of the school. We are considered to be unpretentious and family focused.
“The school successfully fulfils its aim to provide a stimulating, friendly and secure environment in which each pupil’s potential may be realised in the academic, creative, physical and spiritual areas of life.”
ISI Inspection Report, October 2013
“Pupils are highly articulate and very well organised, display strong reasoning skills and work well together and individually.”
ISI Inspection Report, October 2013
“In accordance with the aim for each individual to feel valued and part of a family school, a strong sense of community pervades in which staff provide an environment where relationships between staff and pupils are excellent.”
ISI Inspection Report, October 2013
“The contribution of arrangements for pastoral care is excellent.”
ISI Inspection Report, October 2013
“The contribution of curricular and extra-curricular provision is excellent.”
ISI Inspection Report, October 2013
“The quality of the pupils' achievements and learning is excellent.”
ISI Inspection Report, October 2013
We are dedicated to giving our children a broad and balanced education in a supportive and stimulating environment where every child's potential can be realised.
In the Prep School pupils are taught by specialist teachers in every subject from Year 3. Click the buttons below to read more about the curriculum for each subject. To read more information about our Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 teaching click these links.
Reception continues the foundations begun in Nursery. Learning is based on the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, moving towards the Key Stage 1 curriculum. As all children learn at a different pace we take care to tailor this to the needs of each individual child.
Mornings focus on Literacy, Numeracy and Phonics, while the afternoons follow a creative curriculum covering other areas of learning. Children enjoy specialist teaching in PE, Games, Dance and Drama and we also work closely with the Year One staff to ensure a seamless move for the children to the slightly more formal KS1 curriculum. Outdoor learning is at the core of our curriculum and the Reception children have a daily session on the innovative Outdoor Learning area, which is a wonderful resource for exploration and learning.
The latest ISI inspection report states that ”In the EYFS, the children make at least good and often outstanding progress in their learning, and as a result achievement is strong“. For further detail, please read the full report here.
We would be delighted to welcome you to the Reception classrooms where you can experience more of our vibrant learning environment. Please contact the School Office on 01732 351169 or 01732 353706 for more information or to arrange a visit.
Key Stage 1 forms the vital link in the transition between Early Years and the Prep School. Children are provided with a caring, secure and stimulating environment for learning, which encourages independence whilst also nurturing social and intellectual development.
At this Key Stage, the focus is largely upon the National Curriculum where major emphasis is placed upon the development of Numeracy and English skills. Other areas of the curriculum are taught through a topic based and creative approach. Activities are differentiated so that each child is able to achieve success and progress at a level appropriate to their individual needs. Specialist teaching continues throughout Key Stage 1 and is an integral part of the transition process which prepares the children for the Prep School. Further information on specific subjects can be found in the Key Stage One introductory information pack for parents.
We would be delighted to welcome you to the Key Stage One classrooms where you can experience our busy and exciting learning environment. Please contact the School Office on 01732 351169 or 01732 353706 for more information or to arrange a visit.
Dynamic, forward thinking and enthusiastic describes the English Department at Hilden Grange!
The pupils learn speaking, listening and writing skills through different genres including a variety of literature – novels, short stories, poetry… to name but a few!
The pupils are organised into sets from Year 3 to enhance their learning skills and to help them reach their full potential.
The skills needed to craft writing effectively are explored to the full, so come and visit us to see for yourselves! We are very stylish!
The Maths Department at Hilden Grange aims to instil an enthusiasm and love for Mathematics. We aim to create a happy, organised learning environment thus developing positive, confident attitudes towards Mathematics. Pupils in the Prep school are set into 3 groups for Maths and these smaller classes allow us to extend and support our children, enabling them to reach their full potential. The Maths staff in the Prep school are specialist teachers. This ensures that the correct foundations are laid for secondary school and beyond.
From Year 3 to 6 we follow the National Curriculum, although we adapt our syllabus to include some additional topics such as Algebra in Year 5 and 6. Pupils in Year 7 and 8 follow the Common Entrance Syllabus in preparation for Entrance examinations to schools of their choice.
Each year the Maths Department participates in the Primary and Junior Maths Challenge as well as competitions organised by local Prep schools. We are always very proud of our success at these events. We also run an exciting ‘House Maths Race’ at the end of the summer term.
Science is taught throughout the school following the guidelines of the National Curriculum. The Prep School has two fully equipped laboratories and an adjoining preparation room; science lessons are taught by specialist teachers.
The Department is well resourced with all equipment necessary for practical investigations, and has its own interactive white board, laptops and projectors.
In years 7 and 8 pupils are prepared for ISEB Common Entrance examinations or scholarships to independent schools.
At Hilden Grange a ‘hands on’ approach to science is encouraged. The Science staff aim to excite and stimulate the interest of every pupil by including as much practical and investigative work as possible.
Every year we raise the profile of science by supporting National Science Week and we regularly enter a team in the National Quiz Club Championships and the Salter’s Festival of Chemistry competition.
Mad Science Club is a very popular after school club where children are able to indulge their passion for science in a fun setting.
Above all we want our pupils to enjoy science and to develop a curiosity about the world around them.
French is a living language at Hilden Grange, right from early days in the Pre-prep through to Scholarship level in Year 8. We start with games, songs and software, progress to textbooks, and aspire to competence in all four skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing.
At KS 2, pupils will be already working on many basic topics which take part in Common Entrance and Scholarship Examinations.
At KS 3, it is time for all pupils to develop their abilities in all four skill areas by working on translation, reading comprehension, essay writing, listening comprehension and discussion work. The big part of the learning is for pupils to be able to grow as a potential linguist.
Our pupils enjoy a week away to France as part of a residential trip in year 7 and 8 either in Normandy or Provence/Paris. Also in year 6, pupils are taking part on a day trip to Boulogne.
All these trips or events are there to help the pupils to discover the wonders of a region and culture and also help pupils to gain more confidence in general when they leave school.
Each year we broaden children’s awareness of the wider scope of foreign languages when we celebrate European Languages Day with fun and games in different European Languages such as quizzes and use of different websites.
At Hilden Grange pupils are introduced to Latin in Year 6 by means of a language awareness course designed to help them understand the value of the subject and the ways in which it will support their work in other areas. Pupils appreciate the importance of Latin as a foundation of English and other languages descended from it. This enables them to appreciate how much it will assist them with spelling, grammar and vocabulary in their own language.
Translation work, both from and into Latin, forms a rigorous element of language study from the start and pupils enjoy the challenge this presents, developing grammatical and analytical skills which may lead them ultimately to sit Common Entrance or Scholarship examinations to senior schools in Year 8. A project on Pompeii takes place in Year 6 prior to the school trip to the Bay of Naples where pupils explore the ancient sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum, climb Vesuvius and tour the beautiful island of Capri.
Classical Civilisation plays an important part in the curriculum from Year 6 onwards. In the Senior School we study the Trojan War, the Odyssey, Greek and Roman Mythology and life in Rome and Roman Britain.
The department aims to create an interactive and dynamic learning environment in which every pupil feels confident to express their ideas and also respect other’s opinions, attitudes and beliefs.
The Ancient Egyptians, Ancient Greeks, Romans, Tudors, Stuarts, Victorians and World War Two are the key areas of study at Key Stage 2. As part of the CE and Scholarship courses in Key Stage 3, a wide range of wars, events and people are studied and analysed from the Medieval period onwards.
History at Hilden Grange is intended to be fun but challenging for all the pupils. If a pupil leaves with a genuine fascination and appreciation of the wealth and excitement of this subject, then the department will have succeeded.
Geography explains the world we live in. Planet earth is our home. The Geography department aims to help young geographers at Hilden Grange understand how wonderful, diverse, awesome yet fragile their home is. Interest in the interaction and interconnectedness between people and the world on which they live will be of value to children in many spheres beyond the classroom, and a love for learning, a respect for difference and an informed concern about the world in which we live is encouraged. Our experience is that children engage enthusiastically with Geography!
Physical and Human Geography are taught in subject specific lessons from year 3, covering topics ranging from: tectonic activity, weather and climate, geomorphology, economic development, sustainability and tourism. Atlases, maps and other text books are issued to the children, and their own research is encouraged through these mediums and the use of ICT, as well as the sharing of their own experiences. Investigations and fieldwork form a vital part of the studies, with children enjoying the chance to get their hands dirty and feet wet, locally and further afield.
The Common Entrance Syllabus is covered in years 7 and 8, culminating in the research project conducted at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Separate lessons for scholars enable a deeper approach to the subject and more opportunity to focus on developing the skills of data analysis, which foster a lifelong love of the subject.
Religious Studies at Hilden Grange understands that we live in a broadly Christian country but all six major living religions are studied as well. In Year 3 and 4 the Old and New Testament Bible stories are covered; relating the lessons learned from these to everyday circumstances. A term is spent on each of the six religions during Years 5 and 6; these are Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism and Buddhism.
Years 7 and 8 are Bible based and focus on the requirements of the Common Entrance and Scholarship syllabus. Judaism is also studied in Year 7 as this reinforces an understanding of the Bible and prepares candidates for the world religions section of the Common Entrance paper. In Year 7 pupils visit Bromley Synagogue as part of their studies and this enables them to appreciate Judaism within a local context.
Assemblies are held twice weekly and regular visits are paid by our local curate and other speakers. The Gideons also visit once a year. The school holds a Christmas Carol Service every year in the local church.
Art is taught to all children by specialist teachers in a custom built Art room. The emphasis is on enjoyment and creative problem solving, but also instils technical skills, cultural context and historical knowledge. The Department is well resourced with children able to work in a number of mediums including paint, clay, mixed media and computer aided design.
Pupils from Nursery to Year 8 are taught Drama by a specialist teacher. In their sessions pupils complete work in units covering fundamental life skills, technical aspects of Drama, and explore various genres.
Students from years 4-8 have the opportunity to be part of large musical productions. While classes develop students' presentation and communication skills, the production club allows students to develop acting and theatrical abilities. Children also have the option to work towards LAMDA examinations in acting and verse/prose speaking.
Music is taught to all pupils from the Nursery to Year 8. The Pre-Prep pupils have one lesson a week in which singing and rhythm is the main focus.
As the pupils progress through the years the emphasis shifts more towards working on computers using the Music Ace Maestro, Groovy Music and Sibelius music programs. Through these programs the pupils learn about the elements of music and develop their ability to compose, as well as having fun with music. At the same time they develop their use of percussion, knowledge of music and instruments from around the world, singing and listening. Pupils in Years 3 and 4 also all learn the recorder.
As well as class music there is a large choir which regularly competes in festivals at Hastings and Sevenoaks with great success. There is a String Orchestra, Wind Group, Recorders and a Big Band. There are 13 visiting instrumental teachers so pupils are able to learn all the main instruments. Each term there are concerts and music assemblies for pupils to be involved in as well as the play which is traditionally a musical.
Computing is taught by a specialist teacher to all pupils from Years 1 to 8. Pre-Prep pupils have one hour long lesson a week during which they are introduced to using a desktop computer before moving on to problem solving and e-Wisdom lessons.
As pupils progress through the years, they regularly visit the three main areas of Computing;
In ICT pupils use computers to create everything from posters to digital storybooks, and animations to 3D modelling. In ICT lessons, pupils make use of the Purple Mash resource and Microsoft Office apps to create their work.
In Computer Science pupils are given problems to solve using a variety of methods. They use logical thinking skills, problem breakdown skills and efficiency skills. In Computer Science lessons, pupils make use of the Espresso Coding, Kodu and Scratch resources to create their work.
e-Wisdom is the expansion of e-Safety, where students learn the importance of using digital devices sensibly and safely. In e-Wisdom lessons, pupils make use of the Gooseberry Planet resource to create their work.
The girls' games programme in the Prep School is based around the major sports of hockey, netball, cross-country, rounders, cricket and athletics. When time allows the girls also participate in dance, swimming and tennis. We run as many teams as our numbers allow and all of our girls have the opportunity to compete against other local Prep Schools. Whilst always giving 100% and aiming to with as many of our matches as possible, strong emphasis is also placed on expecting our girls to compete with the utmost sportsmanship and with best behaviour before, during and after the matches.
It is our priority that our girls enjoy and learn from all of their experiences during their Games lessons.
The boys' games programme in the Prep School is based around the major sports of football, rugby, cross-country, cricket and athletics. We run a large number of teams and all the children have an opportunity to compete against other schools on a regular basis. We encourage self-discipline and sportsmanship and whilst we obviously try to win our matches, it is more important that we learn and progress. In addition to our school fixtures we also have inter-house matches in all the major sports which are highly competitive!